Google’s latest project brings together over 30,000 international fashion archives

Prepare to enter a Google hole.

The opportunity to see a fashion exhibition is often a rare, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type moment.

And all too often, the greatest exhibitions featuring archival works from the world’s most influential designers are hosted by international museums.

Now Google has stepped up. The search engine’s newest project aims to unify the world’s fashion archives into one space – digitally.

Google Arts and Culture (initially launched as Google Art Project in 2011) recently launched its fashion addition, the We Wear Culture project. The online platform offers interactive engagement with over 30,000 international fashion archives.

Partnering with over 180 institutions, schools, museums and organisations, the site boasts a comprehensive collection of fashion spanning 3,000 years. The archives are grouped into over 450 online exhibitions, with items searchable by garment, designer and colour.

A zoom function is offered on high-resolution images alongside details about the title, date, type, rights and medium of a garment.

History’s biggest fashion moments have been digitally immortalised, including Queen Elizabeth I’s 1600 bodice from The Kyoto Costume Institute. You can also read about fashion icons through the decades, revolutionary street style movements, stories of a garment’s production line, to fashion’s relationship with the arts.

In addition, the platform is harnessing advancements in virtual reality to offer a series of films. These will guide viewers through a visual history of fashion, from Coco Chanel’s little black dress, to Marylin Monroe’s sparkling red heels, Vivenne Westwood’s corset and Comme des Garçons’ sweater and skirt.

A feature of the project even offers a behind-the-scenes, 360-degree view of the Conservation Lab at the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“I believe deeply that fashion is democratic, and the Google Platform offers and harnesses that accessibility,” Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton told Vogue.

It’s your cheapest ticket to pure fashion indulgence. Check it out here.


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